Letter: A counter to an Indigenous elder’s perspective

“We can do better if we work together”

To the Expositor:

I find the kind of rhetoric used by Ms. McGregor-Pitawanakwat over the top and less than helpful in improving the situation in Canada (‘A history on what it means to be Indigenous in colonial Canada,’ May 5). We need to work at solutions that bring us together not pull us apart. Generally speaking, we all want a reasonably good life, to be respected and to be valued. I see this all the time on Manitoulin where my experience interacting with Indigenous friends and acquaintances has been most positive. To call Canada a foreign government is demeaning and does not recognize the difficulty our government has in obtaining consensus for change from the many Indigenous jurisdictions who cannot agree on the way forward. Her data on lands held by Indigenous people does not recognize the holdings of those who live off-reserve (majority). Her final comment (threat?) “maybe time to take them back” only serves to promote conflict. We can do better if we work together. 

Gary Lewis